Two drugs found to be effective
Recent research has been successful in finding two new drugs that helps to prolong the lives of patients detected with melanoma. One of the drugs attacks the genetic mutation that increases the growth of the tumor. The other drug improves the body’s immune system to find against the skin cancer.Will increase the life of patients
However, individuals must note that the drugs will not cure the disease but will help in prolonging the life of the patients. Melanoma patients can increase their live span from two or more months with the new drugs. Presently, patients detected with metastatic melanoma (where the disease had spread to different organs) survive between six and ten months.
First drug trial result shows success
The first new drug discovered is known as vemurafenib, which controls the growth of the genetic mutations that spread the cancer. A clinical trial of this drug showed that almost 84% of the patients taking the new medication were alive after six months. In comparison, only 64% of the patients taking the old drug dacarbazine were surviving after six months. Another set of statistics showed that the risk of dying within six months was reduced by roughly 63% with the new medication.
Second drug also shows positive results
The second drug known as ipilimumab was administered along with dacarbazine during its clinical trial. The drug improves the combating power of the patient’s immune system, which helps to fight the tumor. This therapy increased the average survival months from 9.1 months to 11.2 months. In addition, after three years of the new medications, 20.8% of the patients were still alive in comparison to only 12.2% of patients taking only dacarbazine medications. The results of the clinical trials of both the drugs were published by the New England Journal of Medicine.
Still more work left to be done
Although, the clinical trials have been successful experts believe that still lots of work needs to be completed in this field. The primary reason is that melanoma affects younger people more than the aged population and therefore a couple of years more for a patient who is thirty years do not really mean much. In addition, the number of patients detected with melanoma is rising because of the unprotected exposure to sunlight, tanning salons, and more awareness about the cancer. The drugs were found to be effective for only about seven months before the tumor resurfaces and hence more research needs to be conducted for further benefits.